Jacqueline Carmichael started YakFest in December 2020 in an effort to provide an outlet for women to connect and have fun. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Jacqueline Carmichael started YakFest in December 2020 in an effort to provide an outlet for women to connect and have fun. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Online event features Vancouver Island writers, panelists and ‘laughter yoga’

YakFest bills itself as “part book club, part girls’ night out, all awesome.”

A new B.C.-based, twice-monthly women’s event puts together special guest panelists, Laughter Yoga, door prizes and a moment to celebrate the week’s achievements—even if that’s just getting a decent night’s sleep.

YakFest bills itself as “part book club, part girls’ night out, all awesome.”

The next virtual YakFest takes place Monday, February 15 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Sign up on Eventbrite and a Zoom link will be emailed to you with your confirmation.

• Nanaimo mystery writer Ardelle Holden will be the first guest. Holden’s mystery books include Person of Interest and Murder by Bits & Bytes. The doorprizes for the night will include two of her latest books.

• Sonnet L’Abbé lives in the Nanaimo area. She is a Canadian poet, editor, professor, critic and songwriter. She holds a PhD in English literature from University of British Columbia, and she writes about national identity, race, gender and language. She teaches at Vancouver Island University, she is the author of Sonnet’s Shakespeare and other works, and she will sing a piece about growing up Black in Nanaimo.

• Andree Bizier, bookseller at Windowseat Books in Nanaimo, will bring a two-minute book review.

• Panelist Catherine Johnson lives in the Cowichan Valley. She is the author of a rare book, now out of print, called Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden: Creating Backyard & Balcony Habitats for Wildlife. She’ll share some gardening tips anybody can benefit from, and a signed copy of her book is one of the doorprizes for the evening.

• Lenore Hietkamp of Shawnigan Lake will be showing her pet portraits. Hietkamp is a prize-winning editor and the leader for the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island. She is a member of Editors Canada, and she is a skilled portraitist whose sensitive, skilled portraits (including pet portraits) bring lives to canvas.

• The evening takes a very fun turn with Laughter Yoga with Ellen Everard. Ellen is a retired hospital administrator who lives on the Barkley Sound and in Port Alberni, B.C. She teaches the benefits of laughter and gives attendees some of the week’s best chuckles to improve circulation and radiate healthful positivity.

• Each event has its own Poet Laureate du Jour, and the series continues with Julie Ann Thomason, of Scotland.

• With the Cheering Section, one of YakFest’s Facebook Group editors, Janice Meeks of Abbotsford, brings a quick hoot out for the accomplishments, large and small, to celebrate a bit or a lot of progress.

Host Jacqueline Carmichael of Port Alberni is the author of Heard Amid the Guns: True Stories from the Western Front 1914-1918 (Heritage House November 2020), Tweets from the Trenches, and My Read-Aloud Tales of Social Distancing. A longtime journalist, publisher and event producer, she started the Amazing Strong Inspired project as a book project 13 years ago when she was interviewing amazing, strong, inspired women for publications like The Dallas Morning News, Smart Business, The Edmonton Sun and Entrepreneur Magazine.

In 2020, Carmichael was the organizer of the BC-Yukon Quite Determined Online Eco-Friendly Literary Road Trip that provided dozens of events for hundreds of participants in response to the pandemic. “I started YakFest in December 2020 in an effort to provide an outlet for women to connect and have fun, blow off a little steam,” she said.

“Women anywhere are welcome to tune in, and we work to provide a varied and diverse program that lifts us all up.”

The event is set for the first and third Mondays of each month.

ArtauthorPort Alberni

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP locate driver and vehicle, but are asking for video footage

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
Nuu-chah-nulth cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar centre

An endangered Vancouver Island marmot suns itself on rocks at Mount Washington, near the Comox Valley. Learn more about this endangered species with the Alberni Valley Nature Club. (PHOTO COURTESY SANDY MCRUER, AV NATURE CLUB)
Marmots, underwater mysteries part of Alberni Valley Nature Club lineup

Club kicks off membership drive with series of Zoom chats

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. The art gallery has COVID-19 protective measures in place. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre puts out a call to artists

Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council will hold a pandemic-inspired art exhibit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read